The Q&A Archives: How to Identify Weeds versus Seedlings

Question: This Spring we tilled a border across the entire length of our back yard fence. I planted several different varieties of flower seeds, with similar heights, in repetitive sections which include, Zinnia, Aster, Cosmos, Sweet William, Purple Coneflower and Statice. Because the seedlings all look so different and I planted them in such small repetitive sections, it is almost impossible to tell the seedlings from the weeds. Do you have any tips on how to tell which ones are weeds?

Answer: It's very difficult to describe in words what seedlings look like. A local library or garden center may have the book "Park's Success with Seeds", by Ann Reilly, which has photos of seedlings. What a great resource! Another option is to find someone who has started flowers from seed before -- a garden center employee, neighboring gardener, or Master Gardener -- to help you identify your flower seedlings. This is another great reason to start seeds early indoors -- you get to know what the tiny plantlets look like. You can reach a Master Gardener at your county agricultural extension office (ph# 606/885-4811). Best of luck!

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